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British people   /brˈɪtɪʃ pˈipəl/   Listen
British people

noun
1.
The people of Great Britain.  Synonyms: British, Brits.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"British people" Quotes from Famous Books



... the day-week of their previous meeting, he saw a female shape floating along the ridge and the outline of a young man ascending from the valley. They met in the little ditch encircling the tumulus—the original excavation from which it had been thrown up by the ancient British people. ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... was fired, he rushed below, and soon re-appeared in all the resplendent glory of gold lace and brass buttons which go to make up a naval uniform. He danced about the deck in an ecstasy of rage, and made the most fearful threats of the wrath of the British people. The passengers too became excited, and protested loudly. Every thing possible was done by the people of the "Trent" to put themselves on record as formally protesting. Nevertheless, the commissioners were taken away, carried ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 2 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... as unlike what they really were, as the graceful and beautiful papillon is unlike the hideous and filthy worm. In a word, he made them genteel, and that was enough to give them paramount sway over the minds of the British people. The public became Stuart-mad, and everybody, especially the women, said: 'What a pity it was that we hadn't a Stuart to govern.' All parties, Whig, Tory, or Radical, became Jacobite at heart, and admirers of absolute power. The Whigs talked about ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... the image of God, yet the bon fide property of his fellow-man. The first I saw was an African female, the slave of a lady from Florida, with a complexion black as the law which held her in captivity. The subject of slavery is one which has lately been brought so prominently before the British people by Mrs. Beecher Stowe, that I shall be pardoned for making a few remarks upon it. Powerfully written as the book is, and much as I admire the benevolent intentions of the writer, I am told that the effect of the volume ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... a week after I had handed to Mr. Lloyd George the official proposal, with my own hands, in the presence of three other persons, he made a speech before the British Parliament, and gave the British people to understand that he knew nothing whatever about any such proposition. It was a most egregious case of misleading the public, perhaps the boldest that I have ever known in my life. On the occasion of that statement ...
— The Bullitt Mission to Russia • William C. Bullitt

... English-speaking tongues as familiarly as and or the; entertainers known wherever good poetry and fair title-pages are held in esteem; guest a kind-hearted, modest, genial, hopeful poet, who sings to the hearts of his countrymen, the British people, the songs of good cheer which the better days to come, as all honest souls trust and believe, will turn into the prose of common life. My friend, the Poet, says you must not read such a string of verses too literally. If he trimmed it nicely below, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Number 9, July, 1858 • Various

... Haymarket, and the theatres in Covent Garden, Drury Lane, Lincoln's Inn Fields, and Goodman's Fields, there was now a project to erect a new playhouse in St. Martin's-le-Grand. It was no less surprising than shameful to see so great a change in the temper and inclination of the British people; "we now exceeded in levity even the French themselves, from whom we learned these and many other ridiculous customs, as much unsuitable to the mien and manners of an Englishman or a Scot, as they were agreeable to the air ...
— A Book of the Play - Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character • Dutton Cook

... 1824-5, Parliament had passed acts 'for building additional places of worship in the highlands and islands of Scotland.' These acts may be looked upon as one section in that general extension of religious machinery which the British people, by their government and their legislature, have for many years been promoting. Not, as is ordinarily said, that the weight of this duty had grown upon them simply through their own treacherous neglect of it during the latter half of the eighteenth ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v2 • Thomas de Quincey

... nation he has saved, the land of his birth, he is comparatively forgotten; and were it not for the popular pages of Voltaire, and the shadow which a great name throws over the stream of time in spite of every neglect, he would be virtually unknown at this moment to nineteen-twentieths of the British people. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845 • Various

... prevent any intervention of the United States in Cuba; while the German papers asserted that Lord Pauncefote had taken the initiative in opposing American intervention. It is certain that the attitude of the British Government, as well as of the British people, from the outbreak of hostilities to the close of the war, was friendly. As for Germany, while the conduct of the government was officially correct, public sentiment expressed itself with great violence ...
— From Isolation to Leadership, Revised - A Review of American Foreign Policy • John Holladay Latane

... have lost its sense of superiority; for not only had Admiral Byng just been shot for not behaving with proper spirit, but a combined expedition against the coast of France ended in signal failure, and Admiral Holburne declined to attack a French fleet off Louisburg. No wonder that the British people readily believed an author who then published a work to establish the agreeable proposition, "that they were a race of cowards and scoundrels; that nothing could save them; that they were on the point of being enslaved by their enemies, and that they ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... Washington if the demand was not complied with in seven days. Vessels of war were fitted out by the British, and troops pressed forward to Canada. The official statement of the American Minister at London that the act had not been authorized by the American Government was kept from the British people, and public opinion was encouraged to drift into a state of hostility toward the United States. The surrender of Mason and Slidell removed all excuse for war, much to the disgust, doubtless, of the ruling class in Great Britain. Leading ...
— The Land We Live In - The Story of Our Country • Henry Mann

... Harris, walking by the towing-path, he said: "No, boy, don't you. Not now. Tut!—those lords: they are only making you their tool. Don't you understand? Hogarth is robbing from them the land which they have robbed from the British people, and they naturally wish to murder him: but what have you, or I, to do with that? Let the thieves fight it out between them, while we enjoy ourselves, if we can. Weren't we happy in the Mahomet, boy—we two? Didn't you roll whole weeks drunk? ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... Thanet. Gildas is the oldest historian of these islands, and his work consists entirely of a good old Tory lament in the Ashmead-Bartlett strain upon the degeneracy of the times and the proximate ruin of the British people. Gildas wrote some fourteen hundred years ago or thereabouts—and the country is not yet quite visibly ruined. On the contrary, it seems to the impartial eye a more eligible place of residence to-day than in the stirring times of the Saxon invasion. ...
— Post-Prandial Philosophy • Grant Allen

... extremely to be regretted indeed that so excellent a Civil Governor should have been so indifferent a military commander. But, entirely different qualifications are required in the civilian and in the soldier. It is indeed on record that the Great Duke, who was the idol of the British people as a soldier, was the reverse of being popular as a statesman. He was ever clear-headed and sensible; but his will would never bend to that of the many. Desirous of human applause, he could not court it, though he was yet vain of his celebrity, and studied to be celebrated, ...
— The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation - Volume 1 • Charles Roger

... Established Church; all men are become exactly equal; they are upon one common level, and religion is free. A Republic is hereby proclaimed, as being the natural estate of a nation when other authority has ceased. It is the duty of the British people to meet together immediately, and by their votes elect representatives and deliver into their ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the British people in behalf of the soldiers has struck me as so noble and touching as that of the reformed criminals at an institution in London. They wished to contribute something to the Patriotic Fund. The only way they could do it was by fasting. So from Sunday night till Tuesday morning ...
— Memories of Hawthorne • Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

... helps those who help themselves." Is it a matter of regret to us that they should have these aspirations? Ought it not rather to be a subject of satisfaction and of pride? That this bill will become law, no one who has observed the character of this agitation and who knows the love of justice in the British people can doubt. I hope it will become law soon, for I have a desire which will receive the sympathy of many in this House. I have a strong desire that when our children come to read the story of their country's fame, it may be written there that the British parliament ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... the prevailing faith of Christendom; a faith which to the majority seems knowledge as positive as the fact that Victoria rules the British people, and sits upon the ...
— Strange Visitors • Henry J. Horn

... the British public every year to provide for the well-being of native peoples, worshipping strange deities and jabbering a gibberish that would sound to an American like a gramophone-shop gone crazy! While other nations make their colonies pay for the protection they give them, the British people pay very heavily for the privilege (?) of sheltering and civilizing these far-flung, strange peoples. No true friend of the black man can consider the possibility of handing him back to the ...
— "Over There" with the Australians • R. Hugh Knyvett

... induce me to depart by one jot or tittle from the course I have marked out for myself. And I take this occasion to assure all other potentates that I do not propose by any effort of mine to bring wealth to the foreigner. The welfare of the British people is my only care. For them, but for no others, my investments are open; to them alone I devote my unrivalled experience. And after this I trust I shall be troubled with no further importunities ...
— Punch, Or the London Charivari, Volume 101, November 21, 1891 • Various

... Republic was seventeen years old. For seventeen years King George the Fifth had been an exile in the United States, and the fifty millions of British people had been on ...
— The King's Men - A Tale of To-morrow • Robert Grant, John Boyle O'Reilly, J. S. Dale, and John T.

... slaves in America and elsewhere, and fully to credit the often-repeated statement, that the abject serfs of despotic Governments laugh more than the subjects of a free country. Poor fellows! If the British people were as unhappy as slaves or serfs, they would, I daresay, learn in time to be quite as merry. There are, however, two circumstances that serve to prevent the bothy life of the north-country mason ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... teaching he had received. In America there had hitherto been no national politics. Issues had been local and passions thus confined exploded all the more fiercely. Franklin spoke of George III as drinking long draughts of American blood and of the British people as so depraved and barbarous as to be the wickedest nation upon earth, inspired by bloody and insatiable malice and wickedness. To Washington George III was a tyrant, his ministers were scoundrels, and the British people were lost to every sense of virtue. ...
— Washington and his Comrades in Arms - A Chronicle of the War of Independence • George Wrong

... see things quite in the light that you do, sir," said the first lieutenant. "The British Government make laws, and it is the duty of British people to obey them; and if they don't, it's our business just now ...
— Hurricane Hurry • W.H.G. Kingston

... majority of people who are conscious of the wish to live—that is to say, people who have intellectual curiosity—the aspiration to exceed formal programmes takes a literary shape. They would like to embark on a course of reading. Decidedly the British people are becoming more and more literary. But I would point out that literature by no means comprises the whole field of knowledge, and that the disturbing thirst to improve one's self—to increase one's knowledge—may well be slaked quite apart from literature. ...
— How to Live on 24 Hours a Day • Arnold Bennett

... were mostly merchants: they were Christians in name and in form of worship, they were superstitious, they were luxurious, they were unwarlike. Many of them were not Britons at all, but foreigners settled in the City for trade. Moreover, for it is not true that the whole British people had grown unfit for war, a revolt of the Roman legions in the year 407 drew a large number of the young men into their ranks, and when Constantine the usurper took them over into Gaul for the four years' fighting which followed, ...
— The History of London • Walter Besant

... the story, and the rage and consternation of the British people is hard to describe. After having held themselves safe from invasion for hundreds of years and boasting proudly that they governed every sea, they liked it but ill that their peace should be disturbed by a nation which was considered by them to be no ...
— A Treasury of Heroes and Heroines - A Record of High Endeavour and Strange Adventure from 500 B.C. to 1920 A.D. • Clayton Edwards

... love of liberty as we have here, and the same ability to guard it in honour and order, the same loyalty to the Throne for the same cause, because it is the creation of freemen, the bond of strength, and the symbol of the unity and dignity of the British people Where in the British North American provinces we do not find men of our own stock, we are fortunate in finding those who descend from the noble French race—that race whose gallantry we have for ages learnt ...
— Memories of Canada and Scotland - Speeches and Verses • John Douglas Sutherland Campbell

... the English mind to the consciousness that the war would be long and bitter, so did the abuse of all this temporary and inflated war time prosperity bring to far-seeing men throughout England the realisation that the British people, and more especially those who worked with their hands, were booked for serious social and economic trouble when peace came, unless they saw the error ...
— The War After the War • Isaac Frederick Marcosson

... little time the British people did not understand what was happening. How could they know? It appeared that all was going well. Then why worry? Soon there would be the joy-bells of peace, and the boys would come marching home again, as in earlier wars. It was only very slowly—because of the conspiracy of silence—that there ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... Crown has become increasingly wider and more general in the years that have seen the British people steadily taking up the work of self-government. The fear of a hostile demonstration by the inhabitants of London kept William IV. from visiting the Mansion House in 1830, and the death of that monarch in 1837 evoked ...
— The Rise of the Democracy • Joseph Clayton

... interest and prudence on the part of the offending Power. The wrong which Captain Wilkes committed against the British flag was surely not so great as if he had seized the persons of British subjects—subjects, if you please, who were of kindred blood to one who stands as high in the affection of the British people as Washington stands in the affection of the American people,—if indeed there be such a one in ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... of the Americans. It was the defeat of his schemes in America that ensured their defeat in England. It is quite wrong and misleading, therefore, to remember the Revolutionary War as a struggle between the British people and the American people. It was a struggle between two hostile principles, each of which was represented in both countries. In winning the good fight, our forefathers won a victory for England as well as for America. What was crushed was George ...
— The War of Independence • John Fiske

... to say, are in possession of all the privileges that are enjoyed by British residents. It should be noticed that the number of foreign firms and stores (i.e., non-British) have been and are increasing, while big British hongs are less numerous than before. Financially, the British people have certainly not been gainers by the acquisition of that colony. Of course I shall be told that it adds to the prestige of Great Britain, but this is an empty, bumptious boast dearly paid for by the ...
— America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat • Wu Tingfang

... be said to possess a Constitution, it is of modern growth and is still in the stage of development. One can hardly conceive that it will ever distinctly emerge from that state or attain a status in which constitutional development is no longer to be anticipated. Indeed, the genius of the British people and all our past history lead us to believe the contrary. The steps in advance have been usually gradual and always practical; and they have been taken on instinct rather than upon ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... The British people began to remonstrate bitterly against this boundless expenditure of blood and treasure merely to remove a Bourbon prince, and place a Hapsburg prince upon the throne of Spain. Both were alike despotic in character, and Europe had ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... once, begged him to leave them, and to allow her to finish the journey with the aid of the courier. But this he could not do. He wrote letters to his friends at the D. R. office, explaining his position as well as he could, and suggesting that this and that able assistant should enlighten the British people on this and that subject, which would,—in the course of nature, as arranged at the D. R. office,—have fallen into his hands. He and Mrs. Trevelyan became as brother and sister to each other on their way home,—as, indeed, it was natural that they should do. Were they doing right or wrong ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... be little doubt that Napoleon egregiously underrated the resistance which would have been opposed to his army, had it effected the voyage in safety, by the spirit of the British people, and the great natural difficulties of the country through which the invaders must have marched. Nevertheless, it is not to be denied that, had the attempt been made instantly on the rupture of the peace, the chances of success might have ...
— The History of Napoleon Buonaparte • John Gibson Lockhart

... came out. Mr. Rhodes wrote to say that the correspondence with Mr. Schnadhorst was at the Cape, but that he had cabled for it, and that when it came he would send it to The Spectator and let the British people judge whether the story was or was not a lie. When the letters arrived they showed that Mr. Rhodes had actually proposed to buy the policy he wanted, as he might have bought a shirt or a suit-case, ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... withdrawal of the Monarch from affairs, which one still hears repeated, that Great Britain was a "crowned republic," that the crown was no more than a symbol retained by the "innate good sense" of the British people, and that in some automatic way not clearly explained, such old-time vestiges of privilege as the House of Lords would presently disappear. One finds this confident belief in Progress towards political equality—Progress ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... about Jenkins's ear"—but which was, as I hold, one of the most just, as it was one of the most popular, of all our wars; after, too, the once famous "forty fine harvests" of the eighteenth century, the British people, from the gentleman who led to the soldier or sailor who followed, were one of the mightiest and most capable races which the world has ever seen, comparable best to the old Roman, at his mightiest and most capable period. That, ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... God who abhors the iniquity of the African slave-trade, neither the American slave-trade nor slavery itself can be held guiltless. From the suppression of the African slave-trade, therefore, the British Parliament, impelled by the irresistible influence of the British people, proceeded to point the battery of its power against slavery itself. At the expense of one hundred millions of dollars, it abolished slavery, and emancipated all the slaves in the British transatlantic colonies; and the government entered upon a system of negotiation with all the powers of ...
— Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams. • Josiah Quincy

... attempt to tamper with British liberties. Their favorite way of putting it was that any Government which proposed such and such an infringement of such and such a British liberty would be hurled from office in a week. This was not true: there was no such public opinion, no limit to what the British people would put up with in the abstract, and no hardship short of immediate and sudden starvation that it would not and did not put up with in the concrete. But this very helplessness of the people had forced their rulers to pretend that they were not helpless, ...
— Back to Methuselah • George Bernard Shaw

... alliance between Canada and Great Britain can be formed upon any other basis than that of free trade, which prevails in England, that man is a Rip Van Winkle, who has been sleeping not only for the last seven but for the last forty-four years. The British people will not to-day go back upon the policy of free trade, and Canada is not in a position at the moment, {152} with the large revenue which she has to collect, to adopt any other tariff than a revenue tariff at best.' That free trade among all the British communities would some ...
— The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier - A Chronicle of Our Own Time • Oscar D. Skelton

... gesticulative races are apt to think English players very wooden, because when representing British people our actors and actresses are much restrained in movement. A French or Italian critic can hardly appreciate some of the splendid "Stage Society" or Court Theatre performances, such, for instance, as that of The Voysey Inheritance, which could not have been surpassed ...
— Our Stage and Its Critics • "E.F.S." of "The Westminster Gazette"

... industries, and in better obedience to which we shall actually have henceforward to live: not merely in compliance with our own sense of what is right, but under the weight of quite literal necessity. For the trades by which the British people has believed it to be the highest of destinies to maintain itself, cannot now long remain undisputed in its hands; its unemployed poor are daily becoming more violently criminal; and a certain distress in ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... it, it will be at the bidding of merchants and usurers, who do not represent even the baser instincts of the specifically national spirit, but are wholly foreign and parasitic. On that occasion the Daily Mail and the Foreign Office will no doubt assure the British people that the war in question involves the whole honour and welfare of the State; and the people will believe it. But it will not be true. For England is happily not, or not yet, a nation of shopkeepers; and it will be only the shopkeepers whose ...
— The World in Chains - Some Aspects of War and Trade • John Mavrogordato

... bright as here? One can but hope so. In any case, as special propaganda on the part of the O.C.U., the stories could hardly be bettered. One, called "The Push that Failed," I would order to be read aloud to the workers in every munition factory in the land; its heartening tale of how the British people had, to the paralysed astonishment of Brother Bosch, "delivered the goods" to such effect that his projected spectacular attack under the eyes of WILLIAM the Worst was smashed before it began, is of a kind to strengthen ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Dec. 5, 1917 • Various

... destruction of the whole rising generation of the flower of our manhood; and, before this date, would have brought us under subjection to Germany but for the confidence placed by the rank and file of the British people and nation in Lord ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... The British people have the fullest confidence in our integrity to carry out these enterprises successfully, and now only await our advent there, and commencement to do anything necessary we may desire, or that the circumstances ...
— Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party • Martin Robinson Delany

... given of the Prince's letter in Dr. Brown's work on the Highlands, vol. iv. p. 340. It is a sort of expostulation with the Duke, but mildly and sensibly expressed. "I fear," he said, alluding to the British people, "they will find yet more than I the smart of preferring a foreign yoke to the obedience they ...
— Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745. - Volume I. • Mrs. Thomson

... honourable and pleased welcome of a popular king. It was a national pledge to the throne—a proud declaration of public principle—a triumphant defiance of the enemy and the Earth to strike the stability of a British throne, or subdue the hearts of a British people. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... the power of God! for the sake of the Queen, and the British people, and yourselves, I cannot continue my dislike against them. I wish you to make between us a reconciliation from the heart. If I am in fault, do you tell me and I will requite them; but if you find that I am wronged, I wish you to get them to ...
— A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia - With Some Account of the Late Emperor Theodore, - His Country and People • Henry Blanc

... they read, many of those on the Peninsula could not help doing the same. Now that we see with our eyes the nature of Britain's task in France, there is only one depressing thing about it, and that is that one doubts if the British people have any more idea of its magnitude than it had of the difficulties ...
— Letters from France • C. E. W. Bean

... believed in conciliation. He was opposed to 'a policy of exasperation.' He thought that, if the Irishmen in the House exercised patience, and considered the convenience of the two great political parties, they would appeal to the good sense of the British people and ensure the success of their cause. And in return—to quote from Mr. Winston Churchill's life of his father—the two great parties treated Mr. Butt and the Irish members with 'that form of respect which, being devoid of the element of fear, is closely akin to contempt.' Then arose Parnell. ...
— Mushrooms on the Moor • Frank Boreham

... their ascendancy against the Coalition, but it was then too late to disavow the treaty. In Parliament George III had been defeated; the defeat meaning a very serious check to the policy which he had pursued for more than twenty years to fix royal tyranny on the British people. King George's system of personal government, himself being the person, had broken down and he could not revive it. Nearly seventy years were to elapse before Queen Victoria, who was as putty in the hands of her German husband, Prince Albert, rejoiced that she had restored the personal power of the ...
— George Washington • William Roscoe Thayer

... of checking the evil was by engaging in a foreign contest, by drawing off the ardent spirits into active service and, in lieu of the modern desire for innovation, rousing the ancient gallantry of the British people."* (* Alison, History of Europe, 1839 2 128.) French military operations in the Netherlands, running counter to traditional British policy, were provocative, and the feeling aroused by the execution of Louis immediately led Pitt's ministry ...
— The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders • Ernest Scott

... you for your sympathy, madam," Lavender, running his hand through his hair; "in moments like these one realizes the deep humanity of the British people. I really believe that in no other race could you find such universal interest and anxiety to recover a hat. Say what you will, we are a great nation, who only, need rousing to show our best qualities. ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy



Words linked to "British people" :   nation, Brits, country, land



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